It's Hard Being Green

Terry Murphy

"Now is the time to begin to listen to your conscience. Now is the time to begin to be compassionate individuals and citizens." being materialstic, capitalist, callous exploiters of the world, and proponents of U.S. dominance, eh Terry. I mean shit it's easy as pie to have compassion for the underdogs of the world. But try turning on those "love lights" for the ones you have the most contempt for, the ones you perceive (and it is just a perception) that are destroying our precious little planet.
--Matthew Files

To begin with, Matthew, it is the young Dawn Child you are quoting, not me, and I specifically said I didn't endorse everything she was saying, though I agreed with her aims and stance. To address your point (?), I fully agree that the polluters and exploiters need to be drawn into the dialog that it would take to come up with solutions for 'our precious little planet.' It is not the 'Earth First!' type groups which will get things accomplished, but the coalitions of all interests, working together, who may be able to help. I have lived in areas where the timber and hunting industries were the prime sustenance for the local human population. If you speak with these people one on one in a non-confrontatory way, you will find that they have every interest in saving the trees and the wildlife habitat that they depend on for a
living. If you speak with farmers, you will find that they would *like* to have strict government regulations, the famous 'level playing field,' so that they could both preserve their land for their own children and yet be able to successfully compete with the other farmers. Germany has had a 'beer law' for four hundred years that requires all beer to made solely from hops, water, yeast and barley malt. No preservatives, no artificial CO2 bubbled through it, no rice or other starches. Beer costs twice as much, but it is real beer, not the swill that we produce in america and are only able to sell by cutting prices and heavily advertising; and you better drink it very cold so you won't notice the tastelessness (so-called 'drinkability'). Similar laws could be passed requiring farmers to care for their land; like japanese rice, the food would be more expensive but we could preserve a humane way of life and work, as well as our health and the health of the environment; not to mention consuming a tastier and more nourishing product. The problem is unrestrained competition, where whomever can cut the price to the lowest possible level - thus producing shoddy goods and widespread cheating, bribery and lobbying - wins out over the competition. If we were to thoughtfully provide a level playing field for honest competitiors, with rules that provide for the care of the environment and sustenance of the resources, even the exploiters and polluters, for the most part, would approve. There are many industries which greatly prefer regulation to the chaos and degradation that occurs when the survival of a business depends on cutting corners and cheating. (I spent years planting trees and performing other services in the woods of the northwest, where all contracts were required by law to be let out to the lowest bidder. The low bidder was *forced* by simple economics to cheat and lie in carrying out the contract, and the forest service guys we worked with knew it, and *helped us cheat!* in order to get any sort of work done.)
The bottom line here is that it is not some eco-nazi group which is going to save the planet from the rest of us, but a coalition of compromisers who take into account the needs of everyone involved. It is *my* (pragmatic) belief that every problem has an ideal solution which would be satisfactory to virtually all interests, were they all to be represented. The important thing is get people to stop hating each other and to face the problems and communicate possible solutions. To do this we have to first break down the cynicism of people like yourself who appear to believe that anyone whose interests differ necessarily has 'contempt' for those brothers and sisters whose personal interests lay elsewhere. We *all* have saving our precious planet as a mutual interest; I credit everyone with this interest even if they themselves don't realize it. And I have contempt for no one. Sooner or later we will all be 'green'; it will start as a small movement and ultimately become the guiding light of the human race. Sooner or later, even if it takes running out of food and water and energy before some people 'get it.' Thanks for your comments.